Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys

August, 2011
Regional Report

Start Sowing for Overwinter Eating

Sow beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers, chard, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuces, onions, parsley, peas, radishes and spinach a dozen or so seeds at a time every two or three weeks from now through October. This will provide a succession of succulent harvests through the winter. Leafy green plants like lettuce and spinach that are three or four inches tall and wide -- or carrots that are at least one-half inch in diameter -- before the first hard frost will be mature enough to provide harvests through early spring. If they're smaller, they'll not provide much to eat until spring, when they may bolt first.

Sow Last Summer-Growers

Sow bush beans, cucumbers, New Zealand spinach, and squash that will produce fruit within 90 days, on the bet that warm weather will continue through Thanksgiving.

Feed Summer Producers

Fertilize those hard-working food producers as they continue setting and maturing their fruit -- beans, cucumbers, eggplants, squash, tomatoes, etc. Be sure to water the plants well before feeding so the fertilizer won't "burn" the dry roots.

Prune Perennials

Remove faded blooms of coreopsis, Shasta daisies, delphiniums, penstemons, yarrow, and other perennials. Cut them back to within six inches of the soil, and they may bloom again in the fall. Divide clumps that are too large or when they haven't bloomed much. Sidedress the plants with bonemeal and compost, and water in.

Control Spider Mites

Red spider mites thrive in hot, dry weather. Hose them off from roses, evergreens, shrubs, and ivy. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the undersides of leaves.

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